BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota (FOX 9) – Katie Nelson recently had a perfect week in Orlando with her family, soaking up the sun and enjoying Disney World with her niece and nephew. As they were about to board a Sun Country flight to Minneapolis last Friday night, everything changed.
“We had just parked the rental car on the ramp and I got a text that said nothing more than ‘Sorry. Your return flight has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience,’ Nelson said.
They went inside to see if a gate agent could help them, but said no one ever showed up.
“The whole time we were there (2-3 hours) there was absolutely no Sun Country Gate agent. They left an entire passenger plane completely stranded at 9:00, 10:00 p.m.,” said Nelson said.
Her family was forced to take matters into their own hands.
“At that time, we weren’t ready to risk going home via Sun Country.”
The group drove a rental car to Daytona Beach, Florida the next morning, flew to Atlanta, then flew to Chicago, where they picked up another rental car and returned home to Minneapolis . It was not a cheap trip.
“We’re in over $4,000,” Nelson said, adding that no one from Sun Country contacted her until she got home.
“It’s their business practice. They don’t appreciate their customers and my advice (to other travellers) would be not to try to save a few bucks,” Nelson said.
This is the latest in a series of issues people have had with the local carrier. Earlier this year Sun Country baggage delayed lined the walls at Terminal 2.
In 2018, hundreds of passengers were abandoned stuck in mexico after a blizzard canceled flights.
In the end, Sun Country reimbursed Nelson and his family for their original Sun Country flight and gave them each $100 travel vouchers. An airline representative said Fox 9 Nelson’s flight was canceled due to extreme weather conditions in Florida and Georgia.
Nelson says she understands that no one can control the weather and that flight cancellations are a part of life. What she doesn’t understand is the lack of communication she got from Sun Country.
“If you’re flying with Sun Country, explore travel insurance options. Just be brutally aware that if anything happens with your flight, which seems to happen on a fairly regular basis, you’re going to be on your own and you won’t be able to talk to anyone,” Nelson said.
A Sun Country representative sent Fox 9 the following statement:
Several flights in Florida were canceled the weekend of March 11 and last Friday evening due to bad weather in this region. Delays and cancellations can have a ripple effect in which crews can shut down (meaning they have to take a mandatory rest period). The availability of crews and aircraft complicates the problem of rescheduling travellers.
Like other airlines, Sun Country is experiencing unprecedented demand for vacation and leisure travel. After living with the pandemic for two years, our customers are looking forward to traveling again for winter and spring break. We apologize and know these disruptions are incredibly frustrating and disappointing.
Like other airlines and industries, we are working hard to hire team members to improve our service to our customers. The best way for our customers is to call our customer service line to see if they can be rebooked, issued a voucher or refunded. Our customer service representatives are doing everything they can to help every customer impacted by these cancellations. We encourage our customers to use the call back feature so they don’t have to wait.
On Saturday morning, a mechanical problem caused a Sun Country flight from MSP International to Montego Bay, Jamaica to turn around. The flight landed safely and the flight was able to depart later that day. Passengers were offered meal vouchers during the delay.